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10 years ago

Palm Pre's Processor is Fast!

Palm Pre's Processor is Fast!

by Jennifer Chappell Fri, 16 Jan 2009 5:17 pm EST

 

Nigel over at The Red Ferret Journal has reported some very interesting information about the Palm Pre's processor.  Nigel asked the chip maker Texas Instruments (TI) what is so special about the processor, which is the OMAP3430.

TI said that the ARM Cortex A8-based OMAP 3 processor in the Palm Pre is 3 times faster than the ARM11 core. So the Palm Pre's processor has the following features:

  • Boots in as little as 4 seconds
  • Up to 4x graphical performance
  • Up to 2x camera performance improvements
  • Up to 4x video performance
  • The chip in the Palm Pre supports up to a 12 megapixel camera and offers support for 720p HD video.  

So no wonder the Palm Pre can handle all that sweet multi-tasking! I remember Palm saying that you can have up to 15 cards open at a time on the Pre. And even though we did see a little lag during some of the demonstrations at CES, Palm has said that they're still working on the speed.

According to The Red Ferret Journal, TI has said that the OMAP3430 is a "laptop type processing" and will be standard in a new level of handset design. Looks like we'll be seeing many more smartphones with the OMAP3430 processor.

I'm sure glad that the Palm Pre has this great and speedy processor. I can't wait to get a Pre and experience the speed and all the multi-tasking.

 

 

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10 years ago

Native Office Document Editing on the Pre

Native Office Document Editing on the Pre

by Dieter Bohn Fri, 16 Jan 2009 3:27 pm EST

We are pretty much expecting native office document editing on the Pre, primarily becuse during the Keynote CEO Ed Colligan flashed a list of partners (some of whom are pretty exciting, actually) and on there we saw DataViz, who make the excellent DocsToGo suite of office document editors for mobile devices.  They're on practically every mobile platform of note (significant exception: iPhone), and have been Palm's go-to office suite for the PalmOS since time immemorial.

Though the company told us they can't officially talk about future plans, they did leave a tantalizing reply to JayCanuck's comment on their blog:

For now, it sufficies to say we're a long time partner with Palm and (as always) we're excited to see a new, potentially game-changing mobile OS come along. Stay tuned.. [emphasis ours]

Nice stuff.  I'm a big fan of DocsToGo and even prefer it on Windows Mobile to Microsoft's own office suite, so we're hoping that they're able to get on the Pre at launch.  We're also wondering if they'll be able to support PDFs as well, actually, in addition to the standard office document types. 

Ok, one more question (they seem to multiply like rabbits when it comes to the Pre): do you think that it's possible to make a suite of software products like DocsToGo using the standard Mojo Web-Apps SDK, or would/will they need deeper access to the Linux core of webOS?

Thanks to JayCanuck for the tip!

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10 years ago

Palm Pre: Why No Software Keyboard?

Palm Pre: Why No Software Keyboard?

by Dieter Bohn Fri, 16 Jan 2009 12:53 pm EST


Here's a question: why no software keyboard for the Palm Pre?  Here's the answer: it has an excellent drop-down keyboard with keys that are of the same style of the Palm Treo Pro but slightly bigger, more widely space, and better.

Yet we do know a few things that may point to a software keyboard on future devices that run the webOS. 

  1. There will be other forum factors, opening the door to a version without a physical keyboard
  2. The Palm Pre uses a capacitive touchscreen, making it a much better fit for an on-screen keyboard
  3. Most importantly, we know from the webOS' excellent implementation of the notifications view that it's built from the ground-up to allow every application/card to automatically resize.  When you have a stack of notifications, you can open them up and the card will stay live and stay active on the top of the screen, in a slightly shrunken but nevertheless fully functional form.

So the short answer is that there's not a software keyboard on the Pre because it doesn't need one, but it does seem pretty clear that there's nothing in the webOS that would prevent us from having one in the future -- at least in portrait mode.  Right now, landscape view seems to only be supported by the web browser, so a landscape keyboard might be a little bit 'iffier.'

So what do you think?  Would you like to see an on-screen keyboard on the Pre even though it has a slide-out physical keyboard?  Do you think we'll see touchscreen-only versions of the webOS in the future?

10 years ago

Palm Pre Battery Details: 1150 mAh, Same as Centro

Palm Pre Battery Details: 1150 mAh, Same as Centro

by Dieter Bohn Fri, 16 Jan 2009 10:28 am EST

One of the details that Palm refused to address during their Keynote and also during their one-on-one time: battery size and battery life.  Well, let's answer one of them right now: the size of the battery will almost surely be 1150mAh, because it uses the same battery as the Palm Centro and the Palm Treo 800w.

During our one-on-one, we asked Palm to remove the battery door, pretty much expecting them to refuse.  Instead, in a sign of their new openness, they happily did and I got a peek at the battery.  Though Palm had to follow their rule of not talking battery, they did admit that, yes, I wasn't wrong when I said that the battery looks identical to the Centro battery.

Now, it's possible that Palm will try to cram more milliamps into the battery space (ala the Extended Battery for the Centro and 800w, but the bottom line is we're likely looking at a 1150mAh battery in the Pre, 1350 mAh at the very best.  Update: Jenn from Pocketables reports in the comments on on her sit that the the battery is 1200mAh, which is certainly possible -- but the overall size of the battery definitely looks the same.

You might be thinking that's a little small and you're not wrong about that -- but listen: we have literally no idea how the webOS handles batteries, power management, and the like.  Until Palm releases the device, we're not going to know how it performs in real life. 

Special note: although the Treo 800w doesn't have stellar battery life, it has a much longer battery life than pretty much any other Windows Mobile device with similar specs and similar battery size.  When Palm says that "Mobile is in our DNA," they mean it.  They have the know-how to pull every quanta of energy out of that battery efficiently, so we're still anticipating that the Pre will have more than acceptable battery life.

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10 years ago

StyleTap Mulling PalmOS Emulator for webOS

StyleTap Mulling PalmOS Emulator for webOS

by Dieter Bohn Thu, 15 Jan 2009 5:34 pm EST

Although we have heard the tiniest of hints from Palm that they will eventually allow deeper-level access to developers than the current HTML + CSS + Javascript setup for the webOS, we don't yet have confirmation that it's really going to happen.  One company that seems to want it is StyleTap, makers of the excellent PalmOS emulation software for Windows Mobile.  They're fairly confident that they won't be able to do it with just the tools that Palm is currently offering, but with deeper level access (and user interest), they tell Brighthand that it could definitely be in the cards (so to speak):

However, in order to integrate StyleTap so that it operated seamlessly with the webOS applications, it would require that webOS/Android/LiMo have at least a limited set C/C++ APIs available that are not currently available in the announced version of the webOS SDK

They recommend contacting both StyleTap (sales@styletap.com) to let them know you're interested, but more importantly, a quick shout-out to Palm that they may want to hurry along their plans for allowing access to Linux proper on the webOS -- at least for a few top-shelf developers to start -- couldn't hurt either.  We'll be watching the official Palm development blog like a hawk for further developments.

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10 years ago

Be sure to Check out the TreoCentral TreoCast, Episode 58

Be sure to Check out the TreoCentral TreoCast, Episode 58

by Dieter Bohn Thu, 15 Jan 2009 3:25 pm EST

You'll want to be sure to check out TreoCentral TreoCast #58, which is an all Palm Pre Podcast.  Dieter and Mike give the Palm Pre the once-over, discussing everything from the long-awaited hardware and just why the Palm Pre manages to be the most innovative smartphone since at least the iPhone.

How to listen

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10 years ago

WebOS: It's not just WebApps

WebOS: It's not just WebApps

by Dieter Bohn Thu, 15 Jan 2009 2:47 pm EST

Many have wondered just what the application development for the webOS would look like.  During the Keynote, Palm CEO Ed Colligan talked about how development would happen entirely in HTML, CSS, and Javascript.  This sounded like it would be a very robust platform, despite Palm's claims that they developed all their native applications with the same tools.

Well PalmInfoCenter has an excellent interview with Pandora CTO Pandora WebOS Tom Conrad, who explains that unlike the original iPhone apps, webOS apps are fully native and have full access to native storage, internet access, and more via the Mojo SDK:

What you really have, is that you have an environment where a developer can write a traditional application – so, an application that gets installed onto the phone with all its code and all of its user interface elements and that is actually local to the phone. There's also a database and file storage that allows you to take data from the internet connection and store it locally – so when you're browsing your contacts, for example, you're interacting with an application that's local to the phone, with interface elements that are local to the phone and with contacts that are actually sitting on the phone.

What makes it this "webOS" is that the programming models for your developer rather than being C or Java is really just HTML and CSS and Javascript. So you can take a developer who's been developing web applications and quickly get them productive in the webOS SDK, leveraging their familiarity with these web-based standards. And that decision is one of the reasons we were able to get, very very quickly, a version of Pandora up and running. We were able to take one of our star web developers – someone who has never touched the Palm webOS and not done mobile development before – and have that person be immediately productive because it's all based on systems that they're familiar with from web development.

Sounds like a fairly robust platform to us, and the ease of development is perfectly in line with what we predicted in our Pre First Impressions article.  Of course, really graphically rich applications will have a hard time in this framework, but Palm has definitely made some subtle "noises" that more robust applications with full access to the Linux core of webOS might be possible down the road.  In the meanwhile, there will be plenty to do here and -- more importantly -- plenty of developers able to do it.

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10 years ago

Palm Opens Official Developer Blog, Opens Up to Community

Palm Opens Official Developer Blog, Opens Up to Community

by Dieter Bohn Thu, 15 Jan 2009 11:20 am EST

If you're a longtime follower of Palm and a longtime member of the Palm community, you likely have heard at one point or another that Palm as a company has as convoluted a history dealing with the community as they do with mergers, splits, and acquisitions (in other words: very convoluted).  We've long hoped for Palm to 'open up' and talk with the community openly and candidly about what they're doing.

Things are getting better now that Palm is able to talk openly about webOS.  Much better.  Read on to find out why.

read more...
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10 years ago

Palm Pre to be a Best Buy Exclusive, Sprint to Throw Everything Behind It.

Palm Pre to be a Best Buy Exclusive, Sprint to Throw Everything Behind It.

by Dieter Bohn Thu, 15 Jan 2009 10:39 am EST

Here's something we didn't really expect, fellow brand-new webOS/Pre-related site http://webosareana.com claims that they have it on good authority that Best Buy will be the exclusive retailer of the Palm Pre for the first 60 days.  Well, you'll be able to pick them up at Sprint Stores, too.

The site notes that Sprint made a similar deal during the release of the Samsung Instinct and we note that when we spoke with a Sprint representative at the Pre's launch, he said:

We have a saying at Sprint, we are going to "Instinct" it.

The idea being that every so often Sprint launches a phone on their network that they believe deserves the full media package because it could potentially draw their (second1) favorite kind of customer - the new one who signs up for the Simply Everything Plan.  In other words -- you know for awhile there all you saw were Instinct commercials on TV?  It'll be like that, only more so with the Pre.  A Huge Launch.

(1. Their most favorite kind of customers are the people who have been with them for years and years and still re-up to new phones relatively often.  They're not monsters.)
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10 years ago

Newsweek on the Palm Pre

Newsweek on the Palm Pre

by Jennifer Chappell Wed, 14 Jan 2009 8:02 pm EST

I've heard several mentions around tech sites and in forums that the Palm Pre is an iPhone killer. I've even wondered myself if the Pre could be an iPhone killer. Of course we've barely scratched the surface of learning about Palm's new WebOS and the first smartphone to run on the new OS, so it's hard to say.

A Daniel Lyons article over at Newsweek.com talks about Jon Rubinstein being involved with the Palm Pre. We've talked a few times at TreoCentral about how Rubinstein was such a big player in Apple's financial turnaround back when Rubinstein helped develop the iPod. Rubenstein. Below is a quote from one such article:

Before Rubinstein joined Apple in 1997 as senior vice president of hardware engineering and a member of its executive staff, Apple had just lost $816 million, and their profits were waning along with their reputation as an innovator. At Apple, Rubinstein was responsible for hardware development, industrial design and low-level software development. He contributed heavily to Apple's technology roadmap and product strategy. Finally, Rubinstein embarked on an extensive cost-cutting plan that axed both research projects and engineers. Expenses were cut in half.

Steve Jobs wasn't at all happy when Rubinstein joined Palm in the summer of 2007 to develop a new smartphone. And Jobs was really mad when Rubinstein began poaching some of Apple's top talent.  Dieter posted an article over at TreoCentral last March about Rubinstein hiring former Apple executives Mike Bell and Lynn Fox.

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